Applications for the Low Carbon Challenge 2016 open
Wednesday 11th May
Applications for the Low Carbon Challenge 2016 are now open for teams innovating in energy, transport, and waste minimisation.
The Low Carbon Challenge is a programme aimed at helping ventures in transport, energy and waste minimisation scale up their impact.
There are six spots available in the programme. These participating teams will gain expert support from a network of mentors, advisors, business and local government.
Three will then be selected to access $45,000 of match-funding from the Wellington City Council.
A big part of the Challenge is the promotion and connections teams garner from being involved. The programme events let teams generate insights, gather validation and reach out to potential customers, champions and even investors.
A highlight in the event series is the Dragon’s Nest - a hack on a Dragon’s Den. The Nest enables teams to pitch to an audience of Wellington’s business and community leaders, sit at a table with them and receive constructive feedback.
Mevo , p a r t i c i p a n t s f r o m l a s t y e a r ’ s C h a l l e n g e , a r e New Zealand’s first on demand electric car sharing service. Founder Erik Zydervelt wagers that within 10 years the market-place will demand the likes of businesses who came out of the Challenge last year, including Mevo, NoCar Cargo and Switched On Bikes .
“They’re businesses that speak essentially to a solution: a solution to a serious challenge that we all face together, that of climate change,” he says.
It’s hard work in the low carbon space, and big partnerships are needed. Mevo found the connections they made during the Challenge - and that have continued to last and support them - invaluable.
“Working in the Challenge team last year has certainly been a huge support in helping us, Mevo step up to the plate."
Catherine Leining, Policy Fellow at Motu, echoed the importance of partnerships like the Low Carbon Challenge in helping make the much needed transformative change.
Innovation and business are central to making a zero net emissions economy become a reality for New Zealand.
‘We have to encourage experimentation and learning,’ she says. The fundamental lesson from the Paris negotiations is that change has got to be a collaboration between public and private, quoting UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres.
Leining points out, ‘This is what the Low Carbon Challenge is all about.’ The Challenge is open for applications from Wellington region based teams working in energy, transport, and waste minimisation.
These teams must have started something (this means they’re operational or have built a prototype), be in need of funding and unable to get it from traditional means, and be looking to scale up their impact.
Participants will go through a non-intensive accelerator style programme, with four clinic style workshops and three semi-public events.
Three teams will be selected to access the $45,000 fund. In order to access the fund they need to raise the equivalent amount in funding. For example, a team that gets $15,000 from the fund will need to raise $15,000 of their own funding. The Challenge recommends using PledgeMe project or equity crowdfunding as the best way to do this.
The Low Carbon Challenge was formerly called the Smart Energy Challenge and is run in partnership with the Wellington City Council.